My upbringing taught me that if I saw a piece of paper on the ground, I should pick it and throw it in the bin; even if I wasn’t the one who dropped it. So I cringe every time someone takes the last bite of something and just throw the wrapper to the ground and continue walking or when someone throws rubbish out of their car through the window instead of waiting until they find a bin to discard of it.
When I moved to Canada I found out that there is a system to how one discards of their household garbage. I was also introduced to recycling which I didn’t know much about. I soon learnt that bottles go in their own bin, then plastics and papers separately and then garbage also goes to its own bin.
It seemed easy because the recycling bins had posters of what you could throw in there and what went where…that was straight forward for the most part, except when the item you needed to discard of didn’t feature in any of the stickers on those bins (confused face).
So I must say that a lot of stuff that is supposed to be recycled ended up being collected as garbage. I also thought a lot of what really happens after all the stuff has been collected. I tend to ponder a lot on behind-the-scenes of everything. It’s like watching a commercial on television and wondering who wrote that, what were they thinking and how did they write it in a way that whoever directed it knew how the creator envisioned it and that the director would make sure the actors brought the vision to life? Questions, questions and more questions.
Anyways, let’s get back to garbage talk. So I felt uncomfortable dealing with garbage. I didn’t have confidence about what goes where and I was bothered by the feeling. In today’s world humans produce so much waste. Living has lots of waste that comes with it. So I felt that if this is going to be part of my everyday life why not find out more about it and learn to treat garbage properly.
I believe that everything in life needs to be treated properly, with respect and love. I found out a few good things about recycling. It takes garbage away from the landfill to making other products, composting and creating biofuels; among other things. I’m not a genius on environmental issues but if treating garbage properly can somehow treat the earth a little gentler, then why not learn more about this recycling business?
I found out about the City of Edmonton’s Master Composter Recycler Program where you get to learn all about waste and what happens to it after it leaves your sight. I applied and I was accepted. It’s a volunteer program where you take all that you learn and share it with others. So I’ll be sharing great garbage stories for the next few months.
I came across this cool story about how people give life to other people’s garbage.
I have been lazy in my efforts to separate my house hold waste. The worst part is, I knew this, but yet the convenience was what would win. I felt guilty each time I knew I was putting something I knew for a fact was recyclable into a garbage bag. Someone in my life (you know who you are!) began to educate themselves and it trickled into my life. I am now proud to say that it brings me joy to know I am doing much more than I ever have. Each time I walk a blue bag to the curb, I look up and down the block and see all the other blue bags and I am grateful!
I will show my gratitude by continuing to do my part in helping manage the waste that we as humans produce. My hope is more people see the necessity of it and follow suit.
Thank you for taking the time to write about this issue. Keep up the good work and keep spreading the word.